Bill on New Sanctions Against Syria Over Shutdown

10:13 09.01.2019

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Democrats in the US Senate have prevented consideration of a bill on new sanctions against the Syrian government in protest against the ongoing government shutdown.

The bill called Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act seeks to target Syria and its allies – Russia and Iran – with new sanctions as well as to boost US security cooperation with Israel and Jordan. The bill was supported only by 56 out of 100 senators, while 60 votes were needed for further consideration of the bill.

The Democratic Party’s decision to block the bill came amid the government shutdown caused by the bipartisan budget disagreements. On Saturday, Chris Van Hollen, Democratic Senator for the state of Maryland, wrote on his Twitter page that the Senate Democrats should block consideration of any bill unrelated to opening the government.

The government shutdown is in its 18th day and came as a result of the refusal by Democratic leaders to provide more than $5 billion US President Donald Trump sought to construct a wall on the US border with Mexico. Democrats offered $1.9 billion for the border wall.

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